Phone companies are selling your personal data for profit

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,000   +130
Staff member
Some mobile phone service providers have started selling your personal data to the highest bidder, and not just to advertising firms. Such information could be extremely useful to third party…

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Posts: 263   +0
Harvesting and selling data isn't restricted to any industry, area, or company. The registrar's office at my university gets calls from people asking for aggregated reports of public information, and the University Registrar's policy on it is to tell them that if they want it, they can go through the phone book entry by entry and collect it, or in other words, they can **** off.


Posts: 1,674   +1
I like how everyone is trying to see this in a negative light.

If the data is anonymous this is great. Look at the example.
If a small business owner wanted to open a new pet store, said owner could buy a marketing report from Verizon for a certain city or area. The report could reveal which locations receive the most traffic from users who do web searches pertaining to pet ownership.

So basically it helps people get businesses they want in their area opened, and it helps business owners succeed by putting up businesses in the right locations. How is this bad again? I know the telecom company making money off of you kinda sucks but it's not hurting you and it can actually help people.


Posts: 263   +0
As to my opinion knowing my phone company sells anonymous aggregated data of me? Doesn't bother me as much as long as it's helping to offset the price of the phone bill.


Posts: 488   +10
Honestly, if all the data that they store when recorded is aggregate and at the point of storage cannot be traceable to any one user, I'm fine with it.

However, if somehow that is not the case, then I have a problem and any breech in any users' private information should have a very high penalty for Verizon and any other company that is collecting this information.


Posts: 39   +29
I think it's funny that I can't make money from my own personal information but a company can. My personal information is helping some business but what is it doing for me? Knows a business is not going to give me a good deal because they used my information to open there business.


Posts: 2,568   +2,153
TechSpot Elite
I agree with example, I don't care if they collect my data anonymously, just reduce my bills and/or make the service better (bring back unlimited data for all)


why most of the ppl does not care? why they should profit with you? you dont receive any money and ou give them more power...but in the other hand if you try to do something similar from a company or institution, organization etc will face a nice lawsuit...its really wrong...


Then again, for those of you who don't care, for example, why is voyeurism illegal, why do you have curtains on the windows, why do you even use the word “privacy”? Your only hope is that they will give you a break for a few cents, poor sobs. I want to take (back) what is mine and not to beg for it.


Posts: 14,117   +1,850
Raw data (name, address, phone number ) appears to be harmless until you
join that data with other information OR have alterior motives such as product solicitation or stalking.

The Do Not Call (888-382-1222) list has been effective for land-lines and adding your Cell Phone may be helpful too (it has been for me at least).


Posts: 3,214   +1,467
Sounds like the same thing as a store vendor asking for my zipcode. So they know where their customers live. This sort of thing is win-win for everyone. We get better products/services when and where we need them, and someone makes money when we spend money on it.

To the 'Guest' above... you don't get it. They don't know and don't care WHO you are. They just want to know what people in your area want or care about. They don't care about you, whoever you are. There is no 'You' to them, there are only groups of people interested in certain things.


Posts: 3,214   +1,467
Princeton said:
I like how everyone is trying to see this in a negative light.

Well... negative things make better news stories.

'Get the widow on the set, we need dirty laundry...'

-Don Henley


To milwaukeemike, YOU don't get it:
as long as you pay with a cc, you call certain numbers, etc., your so called "anonymous data" can be easily mined. Availability of such data without a warrant is what scares me and not its declared purpose "for marketing reasons".
Say, I am the CEO of a Fortune 500 company calling some escort service ... availability of data on certain servers creates a potential privacy issue. Then, I get a phone call to behave, otherwise ...